Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Calling Girls Names

So, divulging my girl name stash in this post means I'm pretttty done having kids. Every once in a while, I think it's a bit hasty to say that, because I never know how crazy I'll get in 10 years, but then I tried taking my boys to the thrift store by myself and I got back to writing this post when I got home. ;)

I've always been very interested in names and naming our boys was one of my favorite parts of pregnancy. Maybe the only part, other than that people were extra nice to me. I wrote out the story of both their names (Ishmael, and Ira), and I mentioned in those posts that if they had been girls, their names were going to be Mercedes Magdelena and Ophira Dahl, respectively.

We didn't mean for them to both have "I" names (let alone have the exact same 4-letter initials!) - I've always groaned at families who give their kids matchy names. But I like that the "I"s in Ishmael and Ira make totally different sounds, and I happen to have always loved the name Imanuel, so my current top girl name is Imanuel Matisse, who would be Iman (pronounced E-mawn) for short. Even though it's another "I" name, it makes yet another sound, so it's all good. Mercedes, Ophira, and Iman/Imanuel sound nice together too.

Anyway, here are the other girl names that I've been hoarding:

Beau. French, meaning beautiful.

Berenice. English, meaning victorious.

Samsara. Sanskrit, referring to the cycle of reincarnation. There's a documentary on Netflix with the same name that is beautiful, but/and it puts me into a sleepy trance when I watch it.

Georgia. English, meaning farmer. It reminds me of Georgia O'Keefe who was a fierce and talented woman, and the state which I have a mild love affair with despite having never been there.

Marchesa. Italian, referring to a noblewoman. Pronounced Mar-KAY-sa. There's a fashion label with this name that is beautiful, though generally too girly for my taste. That's where I first heard the name, though.

Wallace. English, meaning foreigner or stranger. I really like Wallace Simpson as a fashion icon and her love story with Prince Edward.

Yrsa Rivera. 1. Unknown meaning, refers to a heroine of ancient Scandinavian literature, pronounced "Year-sa". 2. Spanish, meaning lives near the river, pronounced "RivEEra", rather than "RevAra". Both of these names were from characters in a show on Netflix called Sense8, which isn't very good. These are not at the top of my list, but I want to remember them because Yrsa, especially, isn't the kind of name I'm just going to happen upon later on if I forget it for now.

Rukhsana. Persian, meaning the beautiful cheeks. I've forgotten where I first heard this name. I think it was probably a historical figure with a story I liked, but when I look it up, there are too many Rukhsanas to tell which one was the most legit. I also like Roxelana.

Soirse. Irish, meaning freedom, pronounced "Sorsha". There's an actress (best known for the movie Brooklyn) with this name. I like the actress, but would not name a child after a celebrity. We made this same distinction with Ira - we first heard the name from the radio host Ira Glass, but we did not name our Ira after Ira Glass.

August. English, meaning great. I like this name for a boy, too.

Marcelle. French, meaning young warrior. The proper spelling is Marcel (which is a boy's name), but I think the "elle" makes it more feminine.

Zelda. German, meaning woman warrior. Zelda Fitzgerald as muse, not the video game. It feels both futuristic and antique at the same time.

I'm always finding more. I'm in a class with a Moroccan girl right now who's name is Majdouline. Isn't that pretty? I've also like Margot for a long time, but when I say it over and over in my head, I'm not sure it quite makes the list.

I've noticed that most of my friends who are having girls lately have given pretty classic names (Annie, Alice, Kathleen). Have you noticed any trends among people you know? What would you name a kid if you got the chance? Especially a child with a gender other than the kid/kids you have now? What names were runners up for your actual kids names?

{images: 1, 2, 3}


  1. My other choices for Fiona were Evangeline or Edith, and Zach liked Aurora Dayenu (dayenu is a Hebrew word meaning "it would have been sufficient" that's featured in a reading/song in Passover Seder). I like a lot of "old lady names" like Hazel and Agatha.

    1. Oo, I like Evangeline. Old lady names are definitely making a comeback. I mean, Ava, hello!


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